Mumbai: As PM Modi announced a 21-day national lockdown to fight against the virus, the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Chhagan Bhujbal called upon citizens not to resort to panic buying as there is enough food grain stock for next six months.
Both promised that citizens would continue to get essential commodities, including vegetables, food grains and milk; the supply won’t be interrupted in any way. The government has already started distribution of rice, wheat for April and May through fair price shops.
The Union ministry of consumer affairs has put in place a price monitoring mechanism for steady supply of essential commodities.
Bhujbal told FPJ, ‘‘Despite closure of district borders and imposition of section 144, people should not worry about getting essential commodities.
There is ample supply of good grains, including rice and wheat, for the next six months.
The Centre has approved the state government’s proposal to extend the procurement of paddy (dhan) until May 31. This will benefit farmers, especially from Gondiya, Bhandara, Gadchiroli and Chandrapur.’’ According to government data, there are 7 crore beneficiaries of public distribution system in the state.
The Centre had sanctioned release of 3,83,766 metric tonnes of rice and wheat for the month of April. Of which, the state has received 3,58,565 metric tonnes.
In addition, the Food Corporation of India has a stock of 6,24,918 metric tonnes of rice and 11,37,758 metric tonnes of wheat. The state government can certainly avail of this buffer stock.
Further, there is a stock of 4,45,000 metric tonnes of rice which is available under the decentralised purchase scheme. Bhujbal said the state government is prepared to provide 2 litre of kerosene to those who are beneficiaries of the Centre’s LPG as scheme.